Two women fight for a ‘no man’s land’

Sitting MLA U. Prathibha facing Aritha Babu of Cong. in Kayamkulam

The Kayamkulam Assembly constituency could not be dubbed as a stronghold of any particular political front. It has sided with the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF), where victory margins were often narrow. That said, the constituency tilted Left in the previous three elections (2006, 2011 and 2016). In the 2016 polls, U. Prathibha of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI (M)] defeated her nearest rival M. Liju of the Congress by a margin of 11,857 votes.

This time an intense contest is in the offing between two women candidates. The CPI(M) has fielded Ms. Prathibha again, while the Congress has given ticket to Youth Congress leader Aritha Babu. Giving them a strong challenge will be National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) candidate Pradeep Lal of the Bharath Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS).


The LDF, which is hoping to retain the seat, is banking on the development and welfare initiatives in the past five years.

Along with other factors, the UDF largely pins hopes on the candidature of Ms. Babu, 27, the youngest candidate of the Congress party in the State, to wrest the seat from the LDF. Previously she was elected to the Alappuzha district panchayat from the Krishnapuram ward at the age of 21 in the 2015 local body polls.

Since the 1957 Assembly polls, it is the first-time that women candidates of two leading parties are fighting it out in the constituency.

NDA role

Although it is expected to be a fight between the LDF and the UDF, the growing presence of the NDA is likely to influence the result. In the 2011 polls, the BJP candidate, who finished a distant third, had secured a paltry 3,083 votes. However, five years later, BDJS candidate Shaji M. Panicker garnered 20,000 votes in the constituency. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the NDA further increased its vote share by polling 31,660 votes in the Assembly segment.

In the 2020 local body polls, the LDF had an upper hand in the constituency where merchants, farmers and fishermen have a significant presence. The LDF won the Kayamkulam municipality along with four of the six grama panchayats which form part of the constituency.

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